Long-term marijuana use is associated with lower BMI (body mass index) and cardiometabolic risk factors, according to a new study published by the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, and epublished by the National Institute of Health.
The study, titled Associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors: A longitudinal study of men, “tested longitudinal associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors that underlie the development of cardiovascular diseases.”
Participants were men from the youngest cohort of the Pittsburgh Youth Study who were followed prospectively from approximately age 7 to 32. Frequency of cannabis use was assessed yearly from ~ages 12-20 and again at ~ages 26, 29, and 32. The following cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed during a laboratory visit at age ~32: “BMI, WHR, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, blood pressure, interleukin 6, and C-reactive protein.”
Researchers found that “Greater cannabis exposure was associated with relatively lower BMI, smaller WHR, better HDL and LDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, lower fasting glucose and HOMA-IR, lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fewer metabolic syndrome criteria.”
With exception of BMI, “cannabis users’ mean levels on cardiometabolic risk factors were generally below clinical cutoffs for high risk. Most